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Farm owner charged with animal cruelty after zebra deaths

APTOPIX Baby Zebra
Posted at 5:39 AM, Oct 21, 2021

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A farm owner in Prince George's County faces three counts of animal cruelty after the death of two zebras.

Authorities were called Tuesday, after a TV news helicopter spotted a dead zebra on farm property.

Last month, the decomposed body of another zebra belonging to the farm was discovered in a snare trap just feet away from the property.

That zebra was one of three that escaped the farm back in August.

Jerry Lee Holly, 76, is the owner of the farm on Duley Station Road in Upper Marlboro.

He moved to Maryland from Florida in the late summer, and is said to have a long history in the exotic animal business.

Holly is accused of not providing adequate food, water, or veterinary care for his herd of zebras. He's also accused of inflicting "unnecessary suffering or pain on a zebra."

Holly wasn't arrested. Instead, he was ordered to appear in court at a future date. He faces up to 270 days in jail and up to $3,000 in fines.

The investigation into Holly started when the three zebras initially escaped.

Authorities say they've been causing a public nuisance and can be dangerous. They're warning drivers to be vigilant, if you're in the area. They also stressed zebras tend to bite or kick if they're cornered, so to keep your distance.

Prince George's County Animal Control is working to get the zebras back to the farm. As of right now, authorities don't plan on taking away the zebras. However, they are closely monitoring them and the farm.

There are 36 zebras on the farm right now. Two are believed to still be roaming around.